Social Media Network Analysis

This course will provide students with practical training in social media network analysis using two software packages: the VOSON System (a web-based application for hyperlink network construction and analysis) and NodeXL (a free Excel 2007/2010 template for social network analysis).  The main focus will be on quantitative analysis of Internet trace data from websites, blogsites, Twitter and Facebook.  While there will be a lot of emphasis on network analysis (e.g. WWW hyperlink networks, friend/follower networks in Twitter, buddy networks in Facebook), text analysis will also be covered.  There will also be an introduction to using Virtual Worlds (e.g. Second Life and Massively Multiplayer Online Games) for social research.

Level 2 - runs over 5 days
Assoc. Prof. Robert Ackland has a joint appointment in the School of Sociology and the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University (ANU). He was awarded his PhD in economics from the ANU in 2001, and he has been researching online social and organisational networks since 2002. He leads the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks Lab ( which was established in 2005 and is advancing the social science of the Internet by conducting research, developing research tools, and providing research training. Robert established the Social Science of the Internet specialisation in the ANU's Master of Social Research in 2008, and his book Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age (SAGE) was published in July 2013. He created the VOSON software for hyperlink network construction and analysis, which has been publicly available since 2006 and has been used by around 2000 researchers worldwide.
Course dates: Monday 4 July 2011 - Friday 8 July 2011
Course status: Course completed (no new applicants)
Week 2
Recommended Background: 

Participants are advised to have taken the ACSPRI course Introduction to Social Network Research and Network Analysis or an equivalent Social Network Analysis course.
The course assumes participants have good familiarity with using computers, in particular web applications.

Recommended Texts: 

See for information on the VOSON System and for information on NodeXL.


Course notes will be provided, including selected chapters from D. Hansen, B. Shneiderman and M. Smith (eds), Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a connected world. Morgan-Kaufmann.